HEAT 1 was a dynamic, information-filled class for me. As background, I am new to the carbine with little trigger time prior to the class besides some recreational shooting and zeroing. While the first 2 days of the class is a proper and excellent introduction to the rifle, I would highly recommend taking the Hostile Environment Marksmanship (HEMS) class if you have not had prior rifle/carbine classes. In my opinion it will allow you to absorb the information easier and make the maneuver part of the class on Days 3 & 4 more valuable. If you have had multiple training classes, I still strongly recommend you attend all 4 days or the HEMS class.
The first 2 days on the flat range were extremely valuable especially the stoppage exercises and basic fire & movement drills. Though most of the attendees had extensive carbine training under their belt, they all learned new things these first two days. I cannot overstate the quality of instruction and the information provided. All the early drills build, in a very structured way, the skills required for the team movements on Day 3 and 4.
Days 3 and 4 of the class on the tactical ranges was eye-opening and brain numbing at the same time. Shooting, moving and communicating are straightforward in isolation but complex in execution combining safe weapon manipulation, multiple team members, targets and terrain. Day 3 was a blur and I was at “40,000 feet” for most of it but it all started to slow down on Day 4. This is why so many alumni come back and take it over again and continue to learn.
The bottom line is that it was a superb class and learning experience that you should plan on attending multiple times. If you want to be coddled and can’t check your ego, I recommend you stay home and plink at the indoor range – this is serious training. Other recommendations to improve your experience at this class:
- Make sure your rifle is zeroed and in good operating condition. Have a spare.
- The fitness test is no joke. You need to be in shape to do this class.
- Koolwink Motel worked great and is very convenient.
- Dirt roads are a little rough, make sure you have some ground clearance for your vehicles and 4WD is not a bad idea.
- Practice with your kit and have the ability to carry at least 6 magazines.
In closing, Max and Scott are excellent, highly knowledgeable, experienced instructors with a fantastic training facility and a well-structured program. I really appreciate all for the support, especially from Scott, primarily delivered up close and personal! I only hope that I did not drive them to drink!
Safety is paramount and I feel more unsafe at any local indoor range than I ever did at MVT. My classmates added to the learning experience (thanks Dimitri!) and were helpful all along the way. If you want to take your training to the next level, MVT is the place.
1) There is no fitness test at class, but there are pre-class fitness prerequisites for all tactical classes. You can find links on the relevant class pages and in the training menu.
2) HEMS is a 2 day combat rifle / combat marksmanship class that closely mirrors the Thursday / Friday of the HEAT 1 class. It is standalone and is not a prerequisite for HEAT 1. Taking HEMS will allow you, within 6 months, to attend the Saturday / Sunday of HEAT 1, missing the first 2 days. As ‘Left Bob’ states, it is highly recommended to do both, simply because it will make your training experience more rewarding. More training with MVT = better.
3) You do not need to attend HEMS, in which case you would simply attend the 4 day HEAT 1 class. Depending on an honest assessment of your carbine skills, you should decide to attend HEMS or go straight for HEAT 1. None of these classes are ‘too basic’ for anyone, and attending HEMS will flatten your learning curve at HEAT 1.